Why Does My Basement Leak?

If you are a homeowner, you might have noticed that your basement leaks occasionally after heavy rain. Most basement leaks are caused by drainage conditions around the perimeter of your home. Water will accumulate in the soil around your foundation. It can leak into your basement through cracks and holes in the walls and even seep through cracks in your basement floor. Let’s look at more reasons why your basement might leak.

Lack of Gutter Extensions

If you have an older home, you probably don’t have gutter extensions to take water away from the perimeter of your home. A lack of gutter extensions will cause water to pour directly into the ground by your foundation walls. As the water seeps down into the ground, it finds its way through cracks in your foundation and tie rod holes. While gutter extensions can help solve the problem, you will still want to fix cracked walls and tie rod holes. Polyurethane injection will seal these leaky apertures in your basement walls once and for all.

Hydrostatic Pressure

Even if it’s not raining, there is water underneath the ground in the water table. When there are sudden periods of precipitation, like a 24-hour rain or snowmelt, this water will enter the ground quickly causing the water table to rise. This also builds up the pressure in the groundwater. This is called hydrostatic pressure. As the water table rises, the pressure at which the water is held within the ground increases. This will force water to come in through cracks and rod tie holes in your foundation. Additionally, water can also come up through cracks in your basement floor.

Lateral Pressure

Once in a while, your home will be built on soil that doesn’t absorb water so well. These types of soil include sand and clay. When these soil types absorb water, they tend to expand, creating lateral (sideways) pressure. During periods of heavy precipitation, the pressure from this expansion in the soil will cause water to flood into your basement. By far, this is the type of pressure that will push water into your basement the most quickly.

Sewage Related Issues

When your basement floods, it could often be the result of storm sewage issues. Many homeowners have an older sump pump setup that depends upon a connection to a local storm sewer to channel water away. If the local storm sewer cannot take any water, it will tend to cause the pipe into your home to back up. Your sump pump will not be able to keep up and it will ultimately fail. One of the issues that can be addressed with a new sump pump system is an alternative drainage route from your basement to make sure that your basement stays dry.

Tie Rod Holes

If you have leaky tie rod holes, these will cause water to leak into your basement whether you have a sump pump or drainage system installed or not. These are holes in your home’s original construction that were a result of the concrete pouring process. Even with minimal pressure, water will come through these holes. The best way to repair these is to have a basement waterproofing professional come to your home and apply a polyurethane injection material. This method is best because it does not require exterior excavation.

Seasonal Thawing

Snow melt when spring starts is a major contributor to flooded basements. Oftentimes, the soil has expanded because of freezing temperatures. Moisture in the ground has also accumulated over the winter months and when temperatures get to be above freezing, this water simply has nowhere to go. An already saturated water table is stressed with water from melted snow. This water will go into your basement and cause basement flooding.

Seepage Over Your Foundation Walls

This is not a common issue, but can also create flooding in your basement. This is an issue commonly observed in older homes. As your foundation expands over the years, there will probably be spaces between your foundation and the above structure where water can pour in. There are solutions that can help remediate this problem.

Basement Window Wells

Oftentimes, window wells can be a major contributor to a wet and leaky basement. If a window was improperly installed, this can cause water to leak into your basement.

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